Wesleyan Black Lives Matter Project

Wesleyan Black Lives Matter Project

Have you been affected by racism? Have you participated in Black Lives Matter activism? Have you worked against systemic racism in other ways? These stories are often not well-documented in university archives. Wesleyan’s Special Collections & Archives seeks to improve this gap in the historical record.

To help center Black experiences in our collections, we are putting out a call for submissions from all Wesleyan students, staff, faculty, and alumni/ae. We welcome photos, videos, poetry, art, and reflections on your experiences with racism and the current protests spurred by the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and so many others brought about by ongoing structures of white supremacy, systemic racism against Black people, and policing structures that perpetuate racial injustice.

Stories of racism are told to family and friends but often don’t make it beyond the confines of individual memories or personal conversations. The University Archives seeks to restore these undocumented parts of our community’s history to provide a lasting record of this aspect of Wesleyan life for the researchers of the future.

By preserving and making accessible these submissions, the Wesleyan University Archives confirms our commitment to documenting Wesleyan life, student histories, and Black experiences. This collaborative archival project will be made accessible and preserved in perpetuity in Special Collections & Archives.

How to submit

Ways to document your experience: Online submission form

We are aware your submissions are special spaces we are granted access to, let us know if the materials require restrictions or shouldn’t be shared for a period of time.

You always own your copyright! But, we encourage you to use a Creative Commons license for your submissions! https://creativecommons.org/.

Please be cautious when documenting protests and make certain you obtain permissions from protestors recognizable in images and videos. If you cannot, please contact us to find out about some options for how to remove identifying features and faces.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of submissions are you looking for?

We want you to tell your experience the way you tell it. Written pieces of 20 words or 20,000 words.  One photo or 100 photos. Voice recordings or videos of your experiences. Whatever you want to document in whatever way you feel most comfortable. Pretty much any kind of file you create with your computer or phone can be uploaded via the online form or attached to an email to us.

How many times can I submit?

As many times as you would like; the more we can collect, the more complete a picture we will be able to paint for future researchers. Multiple submissions are encouraged.

Can I submit anonymously?

Yes. We are looking to collect as much material as we can, and if you would rather not have your name attached, that is fine with us. Obviously the more information we have connected to your submission, the more value it will have for researchers in the future, but anonymous material is always better than no material.

Are you going to publish this anywhere?

This project is not for the public of today, it is for the researchers and historians of the future. While it is important to share these stories today, the best way for you to do that is via your own relationships and social media.

 

We wish to acknowledge the Williams Black Lives Matter Project and the Ann Arbor District Library Call for Stories for helping inspire the framework of this project.